Help for the Discomfort of Pregnancy with Acupuncture

pregnancy, acupuncture, discomfort, help, vancouver

Among the first things many women notice when they become pregnant is that they are tired, nauseated and have breast tenderness. Did I mention tired, bone weary, can’t make it through the day tired? Did I mention the emotional overload that goes with the fatigue? If wise your partner won’t have mentioned it either!

Acupuncture can help your body and psyche cope with the hormonal and physical changes of early pregnancy. By stabilizing the meridians you can also stabilize your energy levels…you may still be tired at the end of the day but not so much so that you can’t make the drive home safely. More consistent energy for you also means better, cleaner energy for baby. Your acupuncturist can also suggest food that your body may assimilate more easily. Chinese medicine has had thousands of years of practice to “get it right” and has many useful tips on nourishment for different stages of life. For example, it is strongly suggested during your first trimester that you eat congee (like rice porridge) it is a dish that is simple to make, easy on the digestive system and very nourishing for the yin energy (female energy and therefore supporting female activities i.e. baby building) The blood, hormones and essence that go into building a baby are strengthened.


1/2 cup rice
6 cups water
Slow cook for 5 to 6 hours until thick broth
Add chicken, vegetables or fruit

As you enter your second trimester most of the nausea has decreased or stopped altogether and your energy levels perk back up. Thank goodness! Shop for essentials, plan and have parties, go on a vacation in essence do all the normal things you would have done pre-pregnancy except perhaps marathon running. Life will change soon enough as will your energy levels and interest in the outside world.

During your last trimester your energy levels begin to drop again as the growing baby draws more upon you and your internal reserves. Things start to show up as your body is challenged, increased back pain, hypertension, edema and Oligohydramnios (too little amniotic fluid). Traditional Chinese Medicine can help with later pregnancy hiccups.

The likelihood of a woman developing issues in later pregnancy is decreased if the woman has had regular acupuncture through-out her pregnancy. If issues develop they can be helped by acupuncture for the acute phases. It is suggested that a woman with a normal pregnancy see her acupuncturist once every 2 weeks is the first trimester. Treatments every two weeks allow the mother to regulate energy levels and balance hormones. Should there be more serious complaints, visits would increase in frequency. For example if she has nausea, extremely lenergy levels, digestive complaints…usually these issues can be dealt with in 3 – 6 treatments and then a regular bi-weekly schedule can be resumed. Studies have also shown that if a woman does develop a more serious illness, hypertension for example; those who received regular acupuncture and then an acute treatment protocol recovered faster or had a less severe form of the illness.

For in breach pregnancies, acupuncture has been shown to be extremely effective in turning the baby, particularly if started at 30 weeks.

Happy relaxed moms = happy relaxed babies

Carla Wiseman DTCM, R. Ac, RMT has been practicing Chinese Medicine Vancouver since 1993 and massage since 1986 at the Arbutus Clinic.